Chester C. Cricket and his friends help out Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere.

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Cast

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Tucker the Mouse / Rattlesnake / Bald Eagle (voice)
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Marsha the Lightning Bug / Queen Bee (voice)
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Storyline

The War of Independence has begun, and Tucker the Mouse, Harry the Cat and Chester C. Cricket are indispensable to the American colonies' effort to free themselves from the rule of the despotic English king. Harry and Tucker help Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. Chester creates the tune for "Yankee Doodle Dandy." And all the animals--including John and Marsha, the lightning bugs--help Paul Revere spread the message that the British are coming. Written by J. Spurlin

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Animation | Family

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16 January 1975 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

While attempting to write the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson uses various quotes from American history. They are as follows: "Let me make this perfectly clear." - This quote was made famous (or infamous depending on how you look at it) by former President Richard Nixon; "Two chickens in every pot, two horses in every stable." - A parody of President Herbert Hoover's 1928 election promise that there would be "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" if he was elected; "Speak softly but carry a big stick." - Quote by former President Teddy Roosevelt that summed up his view of foreign policy; "The Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming." - A line from George M. Cohan's World War I patriotic song "Over There"; "54-40 or fight." - This was a slogan by the Democrat Party in 1846 calling for the U.S. to control the Oregon Territory all the way to the 54°40' north parallel or go to war with Britain; "I shall return." - Famous quote by GEN Douglas MacArthur after he was force to leave the Phillipines during World War II. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tucker the Mouse: Un-credible. Well, well. In-believable. Hm, well, hm. Oddities of American History is right. Wow. Un-credible. Un-incredible. I didn't know that.
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Connections

Follows A Very Merry Cricket (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
Performed by Mel Blanc and Les Tremayne
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User Reviews

 
The Nixon joke isn't funny.
14 April 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

'Yankee Doodle Cricket' is a low-budget animated film with a fairly atypical setting: the American Revolution. The animals in this cartoon talk to each other but are drawn realistically. There are the usual economic short cuts, typical of cartoons: for example, a brief sequence of the cat walking down a road with the cricket on his back is repeated at several points during this toon. The cheapness of the animation is forgivable; somewhat less forgivable is its general shoddiness. The cat is drawn like a realistic cat, but he walks with a peculiar goose-stepping gait that doesn't remotely resemble actual feline movements.

In several other IMDb reviews, I've made clear my very strong dislike for Chuck Jones, who directed 'Yankee Doodle Cricket'. My dislike is partially personal: Jones consistently took credit for other animators' innovations, and belittled the importance of his collaborators. But my dislike of Chuck Jones's cartoons is also for artistic reasons: Jones had a very small bag of tricks and narrative techniques, and he repeated himself far more often than did his contemporaries such as Clampett, Freleng, Tashlin and the sadly underrated Robert McKimson. I'm angry that Jones took one of the most unique and distinctive books ever written -- 'The Phantom Tollbooth', by Norton Juster -- and turned it into a Chuck Jones cartoon that looked like a hundred other Chuck Jones cartoons.

'Yankee Doodle Cricket' is not very funny, but (to its credit) it tries to tell a story rather than offer slapstick gags. There is one very strained 'joke' in this cartoon which I found especially annoying, and a strong example of the self-indulgence which taints all of Chuck Jones's work. Harry the cat is present in Thomas Jefferson's study while Jefferson attempts to write the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson keeps coming up with various opening phrases (which he speaks aloud as his quill pen writes them down), but in each case he crumples the paper (parchment?) and tosses it onto the floor near Harry. The 'joke' here -- a weak one -- is that each of these anachronistic phrases is associated with some U.S. President (a different one each time) who came *after* Jefferson.

The 'payoff' to this gag is very weak indeed. After rejecting half a dozen other phrases, Jefferson comes up with 'Let me make one thing perfectly clear.' (This phrase is associated with Richard Nixon ... but did he ever actually say it?) This one, too, Jefferson crumples up and tosses onto the mounting pile of crumpled pages alongside Harry the cat. But Nixon's phrase, and *only* Nixon's phrase, is now hastily batted away by Harry the cat. Chuck Jones never made a secret of his hatred for Richard Nixon, but I'm annoyed that he came up with this immensely contrived sequence in order to slip a Nixon-bashing joke into a cartoon about the American Revolution.

Apart from Jones's strenuous efforts to bash Nixon, there's a general laziness here. Voice work is supplied by June Foray and Mel Blanc, providing exactly the same voices they've supplied in countless other Jones cartoons: Foray does her bog-standard twee-granny voice, and Blanc does his Barney Rubble with no frills. There are a couple of good points in 'Yankee Doodle Cricket', but they're few and far between. I'll rate this toon 2 out of 10. Cartoon fans, skip 'Yankee Doodle Cricket' and watch Disney's 'Ben and Me' -- about a mouse's adventures with Benjamin Franklin -- instead.

UPDATE: Memo to IMDb reviewer C.C. Krieg: I pay taxes in the USA for income I earn on my Stateside investments, and I'm well familiar with U.S. sitcoms from the Nixon era; plenty of them show up on British television. I agree with you about the Clinton administration, which is by far the most corrupt to date.


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